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LAUREL, MD – After launching her career with back-to-back wins 19 days apart, the connections of Mopo Racing’s promising 3-year-old filly Moquist will take their time seeking out her next spot.
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Trainer Dale Capuano said Sunday that the undefeated daughter of 2015 juvenile male champion and 2016 Florida Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist exited her September 24 victory at Laurel Park in good order.
“It didn’t seem to take much out of her at all. Like her first race, she felt really good right after she ran,” Capuano said. “She was pretty fit when she ran both times, so those races haven’t hurt her. We’re hopeful that she’ll keep improving and be a nice filly for us.”
Moquist, bred in Maryland by trainer Katy Voss and the late Bob Manfuso, was purchased for $50,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Eastern Fall Yearling Sale in October 2019 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, where she debuted 23 months later in a front-running 1 1/4-length maiden special weight triumph going 6 1/2 furlongs September 5.
Facing older and more experienced horses last out, she again led from start to finish to win by 4 lengths as the second choice in a field of eight that included Fool Yourself, a 4-time winner from 8 starts, and Lady Fox and Olive’s Bumpa, each with 26 career races.
The winning time for 7 furlongs was 1:22.30.
Though both of Moquist’s races were won on the front end, Capuano said it was more a matter of circumstance and that she could rate, which would benefit her as the races get longer.
“She can go either way. Right now, those horses she’s racing with, she’s just a little bit faster than them, it looks like. We’ll probably at some point get her stretched out,” Capuano said. “I like to start them at those longer distances; 6 1/2 (furlongs) was perfect at Timonium. I’ve had good luck running my young horses 7 or 6 1/2 for their first start. She went 6 1/2 and 7, so I would think she could go a mile or a mile and 1/16 or a mile and 1/8. I don’t think it would be much of an issue.”
Capuano said he would likely pre-enter Moquist in either or both the Maryland Million Distaff sprinting 7 furlongs on dirt and the Maryland Million Ladies going 1 1/8 miles on the grass. The 36th Jim McKay Maryland Million program will be held Saturday, October 23 at Laurel.
Though Moquist is Maryland-bred, she is not sired by a Maryland Million-eligible stallion, meaning she would be put on an Also Eligible list to run. Races open up to Maryland-breds only when less than eight Maryland Million-eligible horses are entered.
“I’m not sure what we’ll do with her at this point. She’s not Maryland-sired, and the (Distaff), you’re looking at (multiple stakes winner) Hello Beautiful. There’s some pretty tough horses in there,” Capuano said. “I guess she would have a chance at getting in because you have to have eight Maryland Million horses to lock it out, but who knows. I’m sure I’ll nominate her to that and I’ll nominate her to the turf race going a mile and 1/8, but really don’t know what we’ll do.
“We’ll see how she does when she gets back on the track and what comes up and just play it by ear. We’re not in any hurry,” he added. “The Maryland Million is just one day. Hopefully, she’ll turn out well for us and it’ll all be good.”
A career winner of 3,577 races, Capuano is the all-time leading Maryland Million trainer with 13 victories. Two of them came last year with Kenny Had a Notion in the Nursery and Jumpstartmyheart in the Turf Distaff Starter Handicap.
“We might have a few. Cannon’s Roar, hopefully we can get a race into him before then. We’ve been rained out a few times. He’s been very unlucky that way,” Capuano said. “He’s one and probably Sue Loves Barbados. Possibly Kenny Had a Notion, if he comes back around. We’ll see. He’s going to race Friday and we’ll see how he does. Maybe a 2-year-old. As we get closer, we’ll see how it shakes out. I don’t think I’m as strong this year as I was last year, but that can change. You never know.”
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